HC quashs FIR against Surgeon in negligence case

JAMMU, JAN 4: Justice M K Hanjura quashed FIR no 60/2017 u/s 304-A register by P/S Bakshi Nagar against B-Grade Surgeon Dr Shyam Kumar Gupta, as report of the doctor relied upon by the Court below pales into insignificance when tested on parameters of the reports laid down by the Board of Doctors on two occasions. Lack of necessary care, attention or skill in treating patient, has been completely ruled out by the Committee of experts.
One Jai Kumar visited Government Hospital, Sarwal, and complained pain on right side of the abdomen. After his examination and tests conducted, he was found to be having stone in the Gall-bladder and was accordingly advised to undergo surgery for the removal of Gall-bladder. On 10th January, 2013, after all preliminary tests and other requirements and after getting written informed consent from patient and his attendants for undergoing surgery and anesthesia, the patient was operated and he gave up the ghost on 15.02.2013 at his residence.
Justice MK Hanjura after hearing Adv D S Chouhan appearing for the petitioner observed that pursuant to the complaint before the Director of Health Department, the Director of Health Services, Jammu constituted an Enquiry Committee comprising of three senior doctors who examined the case of deceased in compliance with the mandate of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. The Committee of the Experts, which comprised of three Heads of the Departments of Surgery including Medical Superintendent, State Veneriologist and Consultant Surgeon, after giving a complete background of the case, opined that the patient was managed as per standard protocol mentioned in the literature. No negligence on part of the treating Doctors, who was involved in management of the case, was found by them. The other enquiry revealed that the patient was discharged from Gandhi Nagar hospital on 11.02.2013 when he was haemodynamically stable, tolerating orally, afebrile, passing flatus and stool, which shows his bowels were functioning normally. Discharge Report of G.N. Hospital annexure ‘C’. There are no records available after 11.02.2013 and also no post-mortem autopsy has been done, so it is difficult to ascertain the reason for death of Jai Kumar who died at home on 14.02.2013, some 34 days after he was operated in Govt. Hospital, Sarwal on 10.01.2013. On the face of these reports of the team of Experts, constituted on the subject on which they alone could delve, that is whether the act attributed to the doctor, did or did not, constitute gross negligence on his part, the proceedings initiated against petitioner on the basis of FIR No. 60/2017 registered against him at Police Station Bakshi Nagar, Jammu, cannot survive. The surgery having been conducted and deceased having been referred to Government Medical College, Jammu, and thereafter he having been operated again at Gandhi Nagar, hospital, where after he was discharged from there on 11.02.2013 in a condition which has been termed to be stable how can the case of the petitioner be brought within the range of medical negligence. No post mortem of the deceased has been conducted to ascertain the cause of his death as can be seen from the enquiry report which is second in point of time. The deceased died after a period of four days from the date he was discharged from Gandhi Nagar, hospital and after a gap of more than a month from the date he was operated by the petitioner. The report of the doctor relied upon by the Court below pales into insignificance when tested on the parameters of the reports laid down by the Board of Doctors on two occasions. Lack of necessary care, attention or skill in treating the patient, has been completely ruled out by the Committee of the Experts. With these observations High Court quashed FIR against Dr. Shyam Kumar Gupta, a B-Grade Surgeon. (JNF)